UK Leisure Sector First: Successful partnership leads way in customer first digital strategy
Charitable Social Enterprise GLL has reached a milestone in its digital strategy by providing the operational and business insight to support the full development and launch of a new leisure management software platform for the industry powered by solutions experts OpenPlay.
The successful partnership, which began in 2018, delivers a multi-site bespoke digital solution that puts customers first by giving them control of their customer journey through the platform – allowing them to self-serve with fully integrated functions and features including management of ‘my account’ , online joining and use of Concierge services in centres.
The product innovation – called Flow - aims to set the ‘gold standard’ for the sector and change the focus on to customer experience.
Development started in 2018 with internal customer research and mystery shopping which was strengthened with learnings from other sectors which are more advanced in their digital journey. Following this, the first GLL centres were successfully piloted in 2020.
Flow uses GLL IP together with OpenPlay’s technical capabilities and by March 2021 a wider roll-out throughout the business began and this was completed in stages by early March 2022. In excess of 250 centres are now on the Flow system, which was achieved with little or no disruption to the service.
The move is a key part of GLL’s Customer Experience Strategy and digital agenda. The ambition is for the new software to be the best customer and digital first solution in the industry.
The software is fully compatible across all technology devices, whilst still allowing those who do not have access to technology the ability to make use of GLL’s concierge services in leisure centres and their customer experience contact centre.
GLL’s Digital and Technology Director Steve Ward said:
“Our digital agenda puts the customer first and unlike previous experiences our new system puts the power in their hands with the ability to book, buy and manage as well as update relevant records without the need to contact us. The focus has been on reducing clicks, improving access and reducing queues in centre freeing up leisure centre staff to assist customers with Concierge services, so they can get the most out of their visit.”
“This exciting improvement to our customer service and accessibility comes at a time when increasing physical activity is playing a central role in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.”
“We are incredible positive about the future now that we have a system which gives us full control and allows for further development of new and exciting features to delight our customers.”
Sam Parton, CEO of OpenPlay said: “Our technical expertise and customer focused approach, coupled with GLL’s long experience in operating high footfall leisure environments, brings huge benefits to both members and the leisure centres.”
“We are pleased to have forged a successful digital, operational and delivery partnership with an industry leader such as GLL.”
“We believe we have set a new and enviable benchmark for the leisure industry and we look forward to further significant development and growth over the coming years.”